Iowa activists bring 14,600 chain links to governor in wake of Planned Parenthood cuts


In a striking and symbolic moment, patients and advocates delivered a pink paper chain made up of 14,600 links — one for each patient who lost health care access due to Iowa's defunding of Planned Parenthood — to their governor's desk.

Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds received a special delivery from an unexpected source on Friday.

In the wake of funding cuts signed by former Gov. Terry Branstad and fast-tracked by Reynolds, four Planned Parenthood clinics in that state were forced to close, leaving 14,600 Iowans without access to quality, affordable, compassionate health care.

77 percent of Iowans opposed the cuts, but Reynolds ignored their voices and showed no concern for the devastating impact the move would have on thousands of her constituents.

But those Iowans are not going away without a fight, nor without making sure that Reynolds faces the massive scope of the damage the cuts will inflict.

In a striking moment of poignant symbolism and proud advocacy, activists delivered a pink paper chain made up of 14,600 individual links right to the governor's desk.

The bold action was broadcast live on the Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa Facebook page, and it was stunning to watch.

The activists carried the seemingly endless pink chain into the entrance of Reynolds' office, piling it up in a massive — and impossible to ignore — testament to the real people bearing the brunt of the funding cuts.

Upon entering the office, one of the activists announced, "We are here today to show Governor Reynolds the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood in Iowa."

And indeed they did.

Supporters also held a vigil that evening at the Iowa Capitol, continuing to show their resistance to the GOP's war against Planned Parenthood in particular, and reproductive freedom as a whole.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards was clear about the harm this defunding crusade would bring to Iowans — and to the country — and about the crucial need to continue defending reproductive rights against a hostile government.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have made their hostility to reproductive freedom crystal clear, and Republican state governments are just as avid in their antagonism.

But so are the patients, clinic workers, and advocates who are ready to stand up for every person's right to control their own bodies and make their own health decisions. SaveSave SaveSave